Dunedin - The All Blacks pulled off a remarkable second half turnaround to down
England 28-27 in the second Test in Dunedin on Saturday and wrap up the
series with a game to spare.
COMMENTARY: All Blacks v England
The one-point margin was not a clear
indication of the difference between the two teams after the All
Blacks had raced to a 28-13 lead before letting England in for two late
After a woeful first half by the New Zealand team, in
which they trailed 6-10 by half time, they shifted up several gears in
the second session.
They needed a colossal improvement after their untidy first Test win and when it came England had no answer.
All Blacks took control up front for the first time in the series and
their confidence visibly grew as they ran in three tries before
England's late response.
Ben Smith was the All Blacks'
"everywhere man". In the first half when everything was going wrong he
was always a danger and in the second half he scored the first try and
featured in the other two.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said his half-time message was straight to the point.
"There wasn't a lot of carry-on. It was nice and calm," he said.
"It was about believing in what we were doing and eventually, if we stuck with it, it would come right. And it did."
However, England coach Stuart Lancaster was dejected to see the game slip away after the tourists' convincing start.
the third quarter, New Zealand played some exceptional rugby. Their
best stuff - turnover ball and a couple of loose kicks that put us
under pressure," he said.
"But ultimately we're disappointed that
we've come away with nothing after we worked so hard to put ourselves in
a position (to win) after the first half."
England side had the game in the palm of their hand in the first 40
minutes, and bolstered by the arrival of their senior cavalry, they
forced the world champions into another stumbling performance.
game took on a familiar feel as the All Blacks attempted to attack,
turned the ball over and England kicked them deep into defensive
From there, England
challenged the All Blacks through the middle as they fought to turn
around the gut-wrenching 20-15 loss of a week ago in the first Test.
They struck early as the All Blacks, showing signs of being over-eager, coughed up penalties with alarming regularity.
Farrell slotted a three-pointer and then converted Marlon Yarde's try
when the left wing came off his line to break through a McCaw tackle for
a try to lead 10-0 after seven minutes.
The All Blacks,
meanwhile, squandered try-scoring chances with a mixture of dropped
passes and poor option-taking, leaving Aaron Cruden to slot two
penalties to narrow the gap to four points at the break.
floodgates opened early in the second half with Cruden setting big
winger Julian Savea away down the left flank with Smith on hand to
finish off the move.
Cruden's conversion had the All Blacks in
front for the first time at 13-10 before Farrell equalised with another
penalty for England.
In the following 15 minutes the game belonged
to the All Blacks as they attacked England from all angles and drove
home their new found dominance.
Savea crashed over down the left
side and Ma'a Nonu scored in the right corner while Cruden and
replacement Beauden Barrett slotted the goals.
England came back
into the game with tries by Mike Brown and Chris Ashton which were both
converted by Farrell on the stroke of full time.The third and final Test will be played next Saturday in Hamilton (09:35 SA time).
15 Ben Smith, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Victor Vito, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Malakai Fekitoa
15 Mike Brown, 14 Manu Tuilagi, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Danny Care, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Joe Marler
Substitutes: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Chris Ashton